Smallholder Adaptive Farming and Biodiversity Network (SAFBIN)

SAFBIN is an action research programme from Caritas Organisations to address the issues of climate change and food security of smallholder farmers in South Asia. The programme aiming to achieve SDG 2, is inspired by the achievements and mutual learning process of the Caritas Partners in a successful previous phase of regional programme under the European Union Global Programme on Agriculture Research for Development (ARD).

SAFBIN is a multi-dimensional and multi-sector programme aimed to address the agricultural development challenges of developing and emerging countries. The innovative models piloted by the smallholder farmers from five rainfed Agro-Ecosystems (AES) in South Asia will be scalable and replicable in all similar Agro-Ecosystems. This programme will primarily contribute in achieving Sustainable Development Goal 2 of United Nations: “End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture in South Asia”.

The overall programme will benefit about 40000 people living in 165 villages of 21 districts in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan. The first phase of the programme will be implemented from April, 2018 in 95 villages of 11 districts, benefiting about 22000 people.

SAFBIN programme follows farmer led collective on-farm adaptive research, farming system and partnership approaches to empower the smallholder farmers in:

Caritas organisations part of this initiative are the official national organisations of the Catholic Bishops' Conference for social development in their respective countries. They are also members of Caritas Internationalis in Rome, which is a global confederation of 165 Catholic organisations working in humanitarian emergencies and international development. Implementing partners in South Asia are the members of Caritas Asia, which is also a strategic partner of this programme.

Caritas India, Caritas Bangladesh, Caritas Nepal and Caritas Pakistan will be implementing this programme in South Asia with the support of Caritas Austria and Caritas Switzerland. They will collaborate and partner with global and national research institutions, national agricultural research system and universities to implement this programme.


  • Efficacy of mulching and farm yard manure on okra (Abelmoschus esculentus L.) productivity during spring-summer season at Nawalparasi

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  • 29/02/2016

This MSc thesis study was conducted by Khem Prasad Oli, student at the Tribhuvan University, as part of the SAF-BIN project in Nepal in 2013.

Chemical fertilizers and pesticides are often applied to counteract yield loss and to increase plant growth. These materials are, however, costly and have hazardous effects on human health and the environment. Mulching and farm yard manure (FYM), on the contrary, are less expensive and improve the physical and biological properties of the soil, without dangerous side-effects.The objective of the study was to evaluate the effect of mulching and different levels of FYM on okra production in response to drought condition. The study took place in Pithauli VDC1, Nawalparasi, Nepal from April-July 2013. The experiment was conducted in a two factorial randomized complete block design. Factor A: no mulching and mulching with rice straw (6 mg/ha); factor B, different levels of FYM: 0, 10, 20, 30 and 40 mg/ha. The okra variety Arka Anamika was used as plant material. Growth and yield parameters were recorded at 30, 45, 60, 70 days after sowing and at the final harvest. Additionally, a focus group discussion was conducted to obtain information on farmers ‘adaptation strategies. Mulching and FYM significantly affected the productivity. 40 mg/ha FYM achieved highest values compared to other levels, e.g. for plant height (143.90 cm; 97.42-133.20 cm), fruits per plant (19.63; 12.82-16.30) and yield (17.08 mg/ha; 10.33-13.15 mg/ha). Similarly, mulching achieved higher values compared to non-mulching, e.g. for plant height (133.95 cm; 106.90 cm), fruits per plant (18.63; 13.06) and yield (15.42 mg/ha; 10.44 mg/ha). Furthermore mulching and application of 40 mg/ha FYM achieved highest soil moisture (41.62%). Additionally highest net return (Rs. 160,029.00 /ha) and highest benefit-cost ratio (1.64) was obtained by the combination of these treatments. Farmers were aware of the climate change effects and all farmers preferred vegetable production over cereal crop. Some farmers also applied climate smart adaption strategies and were supported by the government of Nepal and Caritas Nepal, e.g. through vegetable production trainings. For commercial okra cultivation, the highest net returns can be obtained from the combined application of mulching and 40 mg/ha FYM.


1Village development committee